NZ firefighters adopt Motorola and Spark radio

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

NZ firefighters adopt Motorola and Spark radio

A two-way radio system by Motorola Solutions and Spark has been implemented at the New Zealand Fire Service.

It will enable the service’s 10,000 career and volunteer firefighters to remain connected to their colleagues in the field. The organisation will receive more than 4500 new radios designed for use in the most severe fire ground environments.

The radio system contains a remote speaker microphone that fully integrates within the breathing apparatus worn by firefighters. This is combined with the radio’s push-to-talk button.

Chief Executive and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service Paul Baxter said, “Communication is critical to safety on the incident ground, and much of that communication comes from the use of incident ground control (IGC) radio.

“The radios will help us to resolve radio interface issues with firefighters’ breathing apparatus, while also delivering improved noise cancellation and battery life.”

The system uses a combination of single and multiband radios operating across both VHF and UHF bands. This will enable the fire service to move away from using a mix of models and frequencies, while developing a nationally consistent standard.

New Zealand Fire Service Director of ICT Murray Mitchell said, “We wanted a solution that is safe, easy to use and doesn’t distract firefighters from their work during critical incidents. The design features incorporated in these new radios will help our firefighters work more safely and efficiently.”

Spark will provide in-country support, including service management and a customer support desk.

Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles said, “Radios are lifesaving tools for our emergency services, and great team communication can be the difference between a managed incident and a disaster.”

The radios are part of a five-year contract, which also provides access provisions for related government agencies wanting to take advantage of the technology.

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